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WTA coaching rules

If you've been watching any of the WTA matches on Betfair Live Video, you will have noticed players being coached at the change of ends. It's an interesting development which might take a little bit of skill away, but certainly adds another variable to a match.

Here are the rules:

WTA Tour allows on-court coaching next year

New York: Women's tennis players will be able to consult with their coaches during matches starting next year (2009), though the WTA Tour's motivation for the move seems to be aiding fans as much as competitors.

To visit their players on court, coaches must agree to wear a microphone so television audiences can hear the conversations. The long-discussed rule change was approved by the Tour's board last week, CEO Larry Scott said on Wednesday during the US Open.

''It was a polarizing issue, to be sure, a lot of potential consequences in the eyes of our players and tournaments, and that's why we took so long to really think it through,'' he said. ''But at the end of the day, I think this step shows a real commitment from our athletes and from our sport towards innovation, being as fan-friendly as possible and being as responsive to television as possible without altering the fundamentals of the sport.''

Coaches will be allowed to visit their players once per set, and only during the allotted changeover time. They can also come on court when the opponent takes a medical break. Scott said he also hopes it will discourage players from taking unnecessary medical breaks.

The on-court coaching is limited to WTA Tour events and doesn't include Grand Slams.

Note that last part - that is crucial. We will see a few players be able to change their game and win matches they shouldn't on the Tour, but crumble without their security blanket in the Slams.

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